As roads around Texoma begin to thaw after severe winter weather made travel dangerous in recent days, the economic impact of the storm is still uncertain. The storm, which closed or hampered many local shops and businesses, came in the middle of a shorter-than-average Christmas shopping season.

As roads around Texoma begin to thaw after severe winter weather made travel dangerous in recent days, the economic impact of the storm is still uncertain. The storm, which closed or hampered many local shops and businesses, came in the middle of a shorter-than-average Christmas shopping season.


Retailers are likely to see some impact, said Scott Connell, president of the Sherman Economic Development Corp. While this might not result in a drop in sales, Connell predicted, it may result in the remaining weekends being busier than expected and retailers might hold more sales to entice shoppers.


"The stores will be busy over the next few weekends," said Connell.


Connell said, due to the short shopping season and the fact that Christmas falls in the middle of the week, retailers might get a rush from the weekend before Christmas until Christmas Eve.


Connell said the major retailers might dodge more of the negative economic impact than locally-owned shops due to a heightened online presence. A sale that is lost in a chain store can be made up with an online sale. "When you lose a day, it is always a challenge for locally-owned," said Connell.


"(Locally-owned shops) missed out entirely," said Dr. Kevin Simmons, economics professor at Austin College.


Locally-owned restaurants are also expected to have taken a hit due to the storms, said Tony Kaai, president of the Denison Development Alliance.


Meanwhile, the Kohl’s department store in Sherman was slow over the weekend, said Store Manager Stephanie Krueger. Still, she said she expects sales to pick up as the store extends its hours towards the end of the Christmas-shopping season.


Grayson County and local cities will also lose out due to the lost weekend, said Simmons. Not only do the cities and county have to pay the costs for repairs to roads, recovery after the ice, and other costs connected to the storm, but they also lost out on any sales tax from sales that may have gone online, said Simmons.


The economic impact from the winter storm will likely be felt well outside of Texoma, said both Simmons and Connell. Starting on Friday, many freight trucks became trapped on local highways, with Highway 75 being impassable by many. Over the weekend, DFW International Airport also cancelled many flights in and out of the metroplex, furthering shipping woes.


In Denison, the offices of NOVO 1 and National Government Services, which employ over 500 total, were slow over the weekend, said Kaai. Tyson also sent out a message over Facebook cancelling some shifts, said Kaai.


Connell hesitated to say that the impact is over. Shopping in Texoma also relies on outlying areas in the region, and Oklahoma, which may still be icy, said Connell.


However, Simmons said he believes the economic impact is only short-term, and that the long-term impact will be minor.


"There is a pain in the neck when (winter weather) happens, but (the economy) will bounce back," said Simmons.